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tv   [untitled]    November 19, 2012 4:30am-5:00am PST

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public comments. good afternoon dishes commissioners i'm with the housing of san francisco and i am to show you a letter had a we had submitted earlier and that i hope you had all received and i hope you all brought copies as well and there are about 13 community organizations represented and we are all supporting the proposed legislation brie supervisor wiener to have the cap of 375 units. there are a number of reasons why and they aren numerical rated in the letter and i want to start by explaining a bit why we came to this compromise so you understand where this came from and i'm sorry that supervisor winier and two are not here to tell you a little more but i
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also wanted to make it clear that they both have helped to bring to us this point where we have this compromise. so you have heard about a lot of the issues already mentioned today. and, basically, what this is about, is that we think, this is experimental type of housing which, is all fine and good but we should treat it as such as an experiment that we want to watch closely and not allow to just go unchecked without us first knowing about the potential impact and that is because browse we have all thought careful fully about what those impacts might be and we have come one a long array, including because these units are actually above market, now, we have heard all of the argument about why they are affordable and yes, cheaper impaired to larger
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studio apartments but by square footage, they are indeed higher rent and therefore, what would be the role in potentially escalating rents in the adjacent buildings and nabses that is one thing and the other thing that you have heard a lot about is the displacement of families because instead of building family housing, we are building housing for single and is whether we have such rare land available we have to think about what is what we want to prior tices and so it's a public policy decision in that way. and we are concerned that, rather than addressing the current needs of our communities, as they stand now, we may actually be building housing that is enticing out of towners to come whereas, they would have lived in silicon valley perhaps or they are just getting their foot in the door with the tech industry, they
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are renting space in the san francisco that others such as these families that you have heard of today cannot afford. just want to quickly list off the groups that have signed onto this letter. china town community development corporation, san francisco tenantsune. senator disability action, that is not a comprehensive list and also the couselor of community housing organization which has about 20 members in itself as well and so there is a broad broad support in the community for this -- what i think is a good ken census model. thank you ma'am your time is up video. >> yeah, thank you very much. glue afternoon commissioners dan fratten with ruben and geniuses and i would like to start by reminding you
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what the efficiency dwelling unit legislation is, it's not a radical change it's legislation that would reduce the minimum allowable unit size by 70 square feet for a very long time, san francisco has allowed a 220 square foot minimum area for living area this makes it 750 square feet. we see from a 220 square foot units what kind of effects we might expect and they are already a part of our housing market and there is just not going to be a big change. i think a lot of the opposition to this -- excuse me this legislation is really driven by a lot of unfounded fears and a lot of prejudice about who will be live engine them this this mornings chronicle the short arch overed this rational for the cap. crash pad apartments will be for people who work in
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the silicon value quay who need a play place to sleep and party. new comers who come here to have fun and then hop on the google bus. i think so it's unfortunate that in 2012, we are still having debates about you know which shouldn't build this kind of housing because may be we won't like the kind of people who live in it. you know, i would also like to speak to the issue of affordability. this is -- this has been an ongoing issue for the past 30 years discriminatory zoning laws and how discriminatory zoning laws actually increase the cost of housing this is from the america university law journal from 1971 it's called discriminatory zoning the legal battle ground the 70's the subsequents of
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discriminatory zoning laws including larger lot requirements prohibition on multifamily housings and minimum floor area standards, serve to inflate land able vision and construction costs make developing of low and moderate income housings and uneconomical and raise rent and purchase prices of low and middle class wagererners and it would be hard pressed to find anything in the literature that speaks to the contrary and you would be hard pressed to show anything that shows these units rent for less than comparable rate unit and the cubickings projects is a good example it sold -- unit there sold for about 90 to 100% of the area median and this is one of the most under served market segments in the city and so with that, i ask you to reject this cap thank you. >> is there any additional
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public comment? if none, the public comment portion is closed, opening up to commissioners ant knee knee. [spelling?] thank you i have a lot of thought on this and i'm going to preface my remarks by commenting on comments made this evening earlier who commented on what mercy said earlier and had reported that there were few children in his project on hawthorne what she did not mention is my question to mercy because i asked him why aren't you building more larger units and because tissue man's designer has redesigned 201 folsome as a result of what happened at 1200 spear because there are 1200 resident now fully sold out that is three people per units and admittedly there are some single and is couple and is they have an extraordinary number of families
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there with children and therefore they ever designed the new project 201 folsome to accommodate two and three bedroom larger unit there and so that really doesn't have too much to do with today's discussion but there are still families in san francisco who are living in some of the new projects that are being built. regardless of that, house something not a sub zero game and again we are having presentations like if you build market rate housing if you build new housing, it's diminishing the stock of affordable house, it's actually doing the opposite for a couple of reasons. #1 every time i build new housing there is an inclusionary requirement which means that a certain amount of affordable housing has to be built number two it takes pressure off i have people that i know of even in my own family who group together in three and four into group housing that could be used for
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cups and children and occupy their buying powers and crowd the families out if you put these people in their individual units they will have their own kitchen and is bathroom and is i think there will be an interest in it and putting a cap ton it unamerica and the market should tell what it is going to be sold for and we will house all of the people that need these kinds of unit even if they only stay for a while in their lives it will provide more funds for affordable housings and provide stock for families to live in. so, it's not really about -- you know it's not about not providing family size house'sing but i think a lot of it was hinted at tonight about opposition of keeping certain people out and one speaker mentioned that. we talked about
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income levels out of towner and is you know those people have just as much right to live in san francisco as somebody who lives here now and if they choose too, then they certainly can and another thing about this i don't think we should support exceptions for students 68 fordable housing and if these are acceptable size for housing they should be acceptable for anyone. it's like it's too small for market rate but it's okay if somebody is getting it for a lesser amount there is a side size that we should democrat deem as acceptable and if it's acceptable to have a one 50 square feet plus kitchen and bathroom then it should be acceptable -- you know we shouldn't allow exceptions if you are giving somebody something in return. so that shouldn't be the point and another speaker talked about using it as hotels for illegal use, well if it's zones for individual housings and they are
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using it as hotels then they are in violation, and therefore, that can be dealt with and the laws can be passed in such a way that this can be police and had keep people from using this as hotels. the other thing, i wanted to mention is see, the size of the unit. i know there has been some suggestion, i think, i believe correct me if i'm wrong but it is one 50 square feet for main living space and kitchen and bathroom is in addition, to that with a total size of 225? . >> the building code amendment reduce the living area to one 50 square feet and the bathroom has to be separate and the total including the separate bathroom and any closets can be 220
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square feet and the existing building code allows for a living space of 220. >> okay so we are going to one 50 to 25020 and i'm not sure about the kitchen is it included in the main space. >> it's included in the main space, okay that may be one thing that i would like to suggest to the respond cor if there is a way that we might want to separate that out although the kitchen doesn't have to be a separate room but it could conceivably be a five-foot wide area by ten may be which, is the cooking area and it's something to think about and i'm okay with it as it is but it might be better if it was a little bit larger in that regard and finally while i have you here, the three modifications the first modification is obviously is no cap and i would vote against this legislation if has a cap even though i think it's very promising i think we should pass
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it without a cap if the supervisors want to put it in because they have more political needs perhaps, but i'm comfortable doing what i feel is right on this vote. and so, the other thing is you said the common space would be ten square feet per unit collectively. >> per unit and the legislation calls for at least one interior common room and the dimensions would be dictated by the number of efficiency units in the project. >> so if you have add ten units you have added 100 square feet minimum i'm not sure about the math and where you locate this in the code is something that you have to advise me on if it's section 340 that would be advisable and there was one more modification that you asked for and it had something to do with the 318 notice and i'm not sure what that was. >> our recommendation was actually to not include a new
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planning code disetion section 389 because we have concerns about introduce ago new definition in the use category and so rather just refer to the building code to the efficiency dwelling units and that way any requirements with the efficiency dwelling unit would be a applicable across the board and student housing. >> okay and it's the same for all categorize of housing and what you are doing is minimizing what is efficient in the housing unit but not putting a new category in it. that is correct if i can expand right now it's residential use is a complicated it start out fairly simple there were two categorize residential units with kitchens and without kitchens and that was a dwelling unit or group housing in the planning code dwelling units all have kitchen and is there is no
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size definition in there. and then, the sr o, definition does rely on size, that is a maximum of 350 square feet, it may or may not have a kitchen. and it does have a single room. and then, the next category that sort off overlaps all of that is student housing which may be a dwelling unit or a group housing it also could be it could take the fortunately of an sr o what determines whether or not something student housing is who ownses it or who controls it that is using and so we thought rather than introducing yet another category that has different size definitionings we should you just refer to the existing or amended definition codes. yeah, i agree and then you start getting into different categorize which specifically are there for a reason and often do not have kitchens included but these are -- these units
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would be housing as defined as a unit under our general housing requirement that is they do have a kitchen within each unit. >> the building code requires that efficiency dwelling units do have kitchens. that makes sense. they are individualized unit. >> thank you very much and i will have other question and is comments at the end of this. >> commissioner warden. >> yeah, i have two questions about this in on the one hand i want to support the community process who have worked with supervisor wiener around this number of 375 but i definitely have some issues with the concept. first of all,, i want to clarify because there are people who seem to think that these apply to affordable housings and student house and and they don't and so these smaller unit would be smaller market rate mouse housings and i think what often happens is we
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have had bad experiences of live work loft and other housing in a came to pass and being what we thought it was going to be and i can understand why people are concerned about a new classification and housing and people using this system i have seen one developer patrick ken copy and i have not seen anybody else come in here to build these units we have the ant already to build these 220 now it was going to be one 50 and i don't think it's a great development rush, i could be wrong that everybody is going to rush do because i don't think -- while there is demand in the mark for these units there is not a huge demand and the challenge that we get with two and three bedroom units is that they are too expensive and luxury housing students we are stuck in this space when we do larger units, they are less affordable and we had a case
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that was living in the infinity building and they decided to live in their son full-time and found it cheaper to buy a one bedroom you know unit and mental the two then a three bedroom unit and so we have a problem that we know that particularly in market rate, when you get-- when you start to get to three berms it starts to get very expensive and it's true that we have a lot of young people and i myself in my 20's lived in three bedroom units where i shared it with people of my own age and that was unfortunate because if i could have had my own unit, i would have had that and i paid 500 bucks a month or whatever it was to have a unit to myself and in san francisco there is not those options and in san francisco younger people fresh out of college and looking for
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a place to live and small unit size, people live with strangers not because they want to but because of a necessity and if you look on craig's list on referral there is a lot of people living with people that don't know primarily because of the affordability factor and so there is a need among young people and among other people who live until the city to have smaller units to themselves and so i think there is a need to meet that market. my concern with doing the process and what information we are collecting we do a terrible job of collecting information if we are going to go with the metering idea what data are we collecting the income levels of the people that live in the units the are we finding out what the square foot of those unit are in the general neighborhood? what -- i think that we need to feed to evaluate them once we have had it titled
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375 unit or wait until people have moved into the unit? my whole thing is that if we are going to create this, then we need to figure out the process by which we can get universal information we don't really do a good job of that right now in general we cannot tell you other than the information that we have of who builds the housing in the city and if we are going to do that then the opportunity in the process would be would be to figure out what is the useful reporting to have and when is that reporting triggered i do not see that people can be transcribe triggered before people inhabit the units. my other concern ask that if it's normally poplar and everybody wants to build these units then by having us a cap, you are inflating a price, if there is a demand and people want to building 10,000 units and i doubt that is the case then automatically the first 375 become more expensive and now, i was talk to go a ceo of a
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commercial real estate expect about office space and what they say is that san francisco with our cap for special office space, we have helped the real estate community save it from itself because they never build office a space because they 97 get a chance to over build office space and i asked in chicago and they said no, we don't bother to invest in chick chick and so there is a real correlation between when you pryings or premium on something that you make it more artificially expensive and that is my primary concern on having this cap on this housing and i also think in terms of mr. mercy's comment earlier about the two berms is that there is a problem people want units to themselves they don't want to live with other em and so they will take whatever they can get a two bedroom better than a studio apartment or
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efficiency unit but three berms is another category of housing that we have a hard time of creatings and what we aught to be focusing on is keeping our older housing stock and larger buildings and single family homes and flats for families there is not an easy way to do that with you my point is creating these units only new and not allowing them in existing units we i take them in a different direction and not separate them out. so my feeling on this is i'm willing to be supportive of the community's direction on this but only if we add what it means and the report and because it's not meaningful if we put a cap without collecting the information on whether or not this is good or bad piece of legislation so that is where i stand ton but i do genuinely have concern and i do like all the other requirement and is i do think that you need more open
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space and having more common open space make more sense and using the building code conversation make more sense as well. >> commissioner hill - a couple of questions along those lines as well how would the cap work? it's approved and it's not built and we would have a cap after 35 and we would be able to approve no more projects. >> essentially it would in connection the same way as office space does and we would keep track and we would have 375 and subtract it as it's approved. >> there could be a gap between the time it's approved and built it could be years and we would stop building these because we are waiting for some record report about -- ultimately who's living there and how it's functioning and also do we know how many ham of the 220 square foot units that are currently permissible have been built in the last five years or approved in the last
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five years? to me, there is not a big difference between one 50 and 220 or we have not had a lot of information or we have not gone out to try to find that information and then, this doesn't where we have a plan like market -- where we are requiring 40% two bedrooms this doesn't alter that right? you are still required to build 40% two bedrooms right. >> the existing units mixed requirements would not be alters by this legislation. >> and so, i agree by the speakers that if it's market rate, it's market rate housings and it's not solving the affordable rate housing housing it's not solving the afford. housing crisis it's just a new typology of market rate housings and it could be useful and it could be more rental than a lot
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of what is being built mow and it could meet a need, but i think the cap is clungy and doesn't really work and again we can sit around for a couple of years and figure out whether they are d/b/a or not and i think there has been has to be a better way and i agree with one of speakers and i think it was paul who left that said yeah let's take a look at what happens once they are built i don't think the cap gets that -- and i suggest some alternate tenive like if the percentage of units being approved in the city of these -- exceed a certain% like 10% of the units of the city being approved in the or five% i don't know the exact number that triggers an analysis because if it's some low%, five% of the unit being built or seven%, i don't think it's a big deal but if it gets above the
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total number of housing units building built, yeah, it's a problem if all developers are out there are building these fish convenient units rather than two bedroom units and but i think it's clungy and doesn't get at what we are trying to get at. well i find myself in agreement with commissioner and clungy is probably the right word 350 is the right number and i completely agree with commissioner that a number is only as good as the study and i'm curious on who's going to fund the study and watch the study and one of the question that we are going to ask with that and this is also so much location based where the location of this unit is downtown you know square it has the possibility of becoming a hotel unit and if it's out in the sunset it's probably not going to happen and having
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units 15 units in a small building that is an economy unit and in an area that is not for student housing but may be it's for uss may be it has practicality to it and there are a lot of factors that are not necessarily addresses and may be in phase two and this is a wild idea from rodney but i would suggest breaking it up in a larger pool and give 25 to market rate and 25 to senior and 25 to affordable and 25 to market rate and share that category and i realize that,that is accurately creating different categorize which you are trying not do so it would be nice to spread that out and southerly, i'm not sure how we are going to vote but i'm supportive of the microunits and i'm supportive of the cap but i would very much like it put the condition if we can on the study and bring some signs to it when
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it's completed. >> commissioner woo? thank you i also want to be supportive of supervisor wiener and how they have couple to with a way to pile and and understand what these units are being used for and in inc., the idea of putting a criteria on how and when we study it, i would be interested in that and i'm open to commissioner hillists idea of is there another way but i think it's hard for us to create right now in this forum. i think that what matters is where these units are going to be built and i think that there is a tendency and may be i can ask staff will there be a tendency to build them in areas where there is no density control according to f a r? lindsay from the planning staff, i don't think we have actual enough proposals before
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us to answer that. the one project that we have before us is has the potential to have a lot of these microunits in one building. but i have heard from other developers and community groups that these would perhaps be mixed in with projects that include a wider unit mix and so that would sort-of change the answer to that? i think the short answertia we just don't know yet. >> those are some of the things that for me, i want to understand. i think that there is a place for these units for certain populations, or certain settle of the market. but it's just not that clear what that is yet and i really don't believe that it's for or that it will solve any affordability problems and i hear this phrase affordable by design but i think it's barely affordable by design i don't think it really reaches